Do you have to travel to Asia? That would be East Asia and Southeast Asia, rather than South Asia. Do you have a German business partner you need to visit on occasion? Perhaps at a convention or trade show? If so, then you’re in luck as far as airports go. The most comfortable, the cleanest, and the most convenient airports in the world, tend to be in East Asia and Southeast Asia as well as a couple in Germany. With hundreds and hundreds of major international airports scattered around the globe, there are of course, other very good airports as well, depending on what ranking one uses. A special category for successful venture capitalists or overpaid football stars – the kind where you kick the ball with your foot and don’t do it wearing a helmet -  is in the wealthier enclaves of the Middle East; more specifically the Gulf States. As in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Bangkok and those two German airports also get a mention in the Premium category ranking.

So the question is what 10 airports around the globe would you like to get stuck in for, say, 12 hours? Especially if you’re coming from or heading to a really cool city to live in? Or heading to a convention that mixes pie charts with fine dining? We dug a little into all those surveys out there to find out.

What we did was collate four surveys: one dealing with the world’s 10 best airports, one dealing with the world’s 10 worst airports, one dealing with 25 cities Millennials would love to live in, and one dealing with the top 20 convention or meetings destinations; for those maybe not quite so young. And because we know you love charts, we put it all together in one snazzy summing-up of all that data. Airport rankings carried the heaviest weightings, followed by rankings for cities for Millennials, with rankings for convention destinations taking up 3rd spot in terms of weightings assigned. If the airport was on the 10 worst list (there were only 2 case of this and perhaps it’s not fair because one of them is a huge city with several airports serving it and the other will open its new airport in a year or two), points were deducted with the same weighting as for airports in general. Got it? Enjoy. 

10. Zurich

Zurich Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/eguidetravel/
Zurich Airport by eGuide Travel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

10th on list of top 10 best airports.

Millenials City Ranking

24th out of 25 top cities for Millenials

Convention Destination Ranking

Not on Top 20 urban convention destinations but Switzerland is ranked 14th

Score

0.78/10

9. New York

JFK Gate 40 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/prayitnophotography/
JFK by Prayitno / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

10th on list of top 10 worst airports.

Millenials City Ranking

2nd out of 25 cities for Millennials.

Convention Destination Ranking

Not on top 20 city convention destinations but USA is ranked 1st.

Score

2.58/10

8. Amsterdam

Amsterdam Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/archangel12/
Amsterdam Airport by Archangel12 Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

9th on list of top 10 best airports.

Millenials City Ranking

21st out of 25 cities for Millennials.

Convention Destination Ranking

10th out of 20 top convention destinations.

Score

2.7/10

7. Dubai

Sunrise at Dubai Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmyharris/
Sunrise at Dubai Airport by Jimmy Harris / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

5th on list of premium airports.

Millenials City Ranking

6th on top 25 cities for Millennials.

Convention Destination Ranking

Not on top 20 city convention destinations.

Score

3.52/10

6. Berlin

Tegal Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/andynash/
Tegal Airport Berlin by Andrew Nash / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Airport Ranking

9th on world’s worst airport list.

Millenials City Ranking

16th on top 25 cities for Millennials.

Convention Destination Ranking

3rd out of 20 top convention destinations.

Score

4.1/10

5. Helsinki

Helsinki Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pwever/
Helsinki Airport by pwever / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Airport Ranking

3rd out of 10 on top airports list.

Millenials City Ranking

25th on top 25 cities for Millennials.

Convention Destination Ranking

17th out of 20 top convention destinations.

Score

4.52/10

4. Seoul

Seoul Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/karendotcom127/
Seoul Airport by karendotcom127 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

2nd out of 10 on top airports list.

Millenials City Ranking

Not on 25 cities for Millennials to live in.

Convention Destination Ranking

18th out of 20 top convention destinations.

Score

4.8/10

3. Vienna

Vienna Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/paolins92/
Vienna Airport by Paolo Cerutti / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

Not on top 10 airport list. Take the train to Zurich or Munich.

Millenials City Ranking

1st out of 25 cities for Millennials to live in.

Convention Destination Ranking

1st out of 20 top convention destinations.

Score

5.0/10

2. Vancouver

Vancouver Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/
Vancouver Airport by JvL / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Airport Ranking

5th out of 10. Best Canadian airport.

Millenials City Ranking

7th out of 25 cities for Millennials to live in.

Convention Destination Ranking

Not on top 20 cities list but Canada is 12th out of 20 in terms of countries.

Score

5.33/10

1. Singapore

Singapore Airport by https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbiddulph/
Singapore Airport by Matt Biddulph / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Airport Ranking

Number 1 out of 10 for many years now.

Millenials City Ranking

Did not rank. Perhaps it should.

Convention Destination Ranking

7th of 20 top convention destinations

Score

5.8/10

If an airport is a city’s gateway, it is a little strange that the world’s top Alpha ++ city has a top 10 worst airport right next to Manhattan. That would be LaGuardia Airport: as in the runway out over the river, the old-fashioned décor, and the not-too-cheerful airport staff. And even JFK is no world beater as far as airports go. Could the world’s top city perhaps upgrade its airports? They say they are, so let’s see how NYC’s airports rank in 10 years. And all they would have to do is listen a little to the International Congress and Convention Association’s outright pleas on their website for the USA to just unleash a little of that entrepreneurial pizzazz on the conventions industry so that a city like New York can actually rank in their ratings. Which would shoot NYC right up our little chart. Or is it that having made their money in places like New York, lots of it usually, people want to see castles when they have to go an actuarial convention? Do Castles in Vegas count?

Like New York, maybe Dubai is way too busy making lots of money to worry about the conventions and associations business. Perhaps they should. In what may be the city of the future – some would say it already is – attracting convention goers to its pristine waters, dry climate which you can always enjoy from behind tinted glass with central air, and incredible views from the world’s tallest standing structure, could prove to be a lucrative business. And maybe they could make their shiny new airport user friendly as in easy to sleep in even if you’re not a billionaire. But for now, it’s Singapore & Seoul, or Vancouver & Vienna for great airports – ok Vienna is such a great city it apparently can get away with a not-world-class airport – and cities young and old love to visit.


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